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Karen S. (BoysMom) - , - Reviews

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0 to Bitch in 10 Seconds or Less
0 to Bitch in 10 Seconds or Less
Author: Amy Hatch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 4/12/2009


A little 5 x 5-inch paperback chock full of quotes under a number of categories such as "Love and Sex" or "The Facts of Life" or "The Beauty Within." Some you'll have seen before but maybe never connected with the original source: some of which are surprising. I hesitated to post my copy for trade because I think that this little tome is something that I'd probably pick up again and again just for the fun of what's inside.


101 Super Sports Jokes
101 Super Sports Jokes
Author: Judith Stamper, Don Orehek
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 8/26/2006


Baseball, football, basketball, soccer, and more! If you get a kick out of sports, 101 SUPER SPORTS JOKES will give you plenty of laughs. Join the all-star joke team and start chuckling.

What is a personal foul?
Your very own chicken.

Cute, clean jokes for children!


ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder: A Common But Often Overlooked Disorder of Children
Review Date: 1/11/2009


I've read a number of books about Attention Deficit Disorder over the years and I still think that this is the hands-down BEST one. Easy to understand and relevant.


Advanced dBASE III Plus: Programming and Techniques
Advanced dBASE III Plus: Programming and Techniques
Author: Miriam Liskin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/7/2009


Advanced dBASE III PLUS shows you how to

Write portable, hardware-independent systems as you follow the author's detailed examples

Use new features for greater convenience when you work with multiple files at the dot prompt

Apply new error-trapping capabilities so you can work with more flexible on-line help systems

Benefit from file-and record-locking features that enable you to design a multiuser database system

Tap into local area networks

Database managers, system designers, and busines professionals can use the author's expertise and insights to achieve optimal dBASE III PLUS performance.


After the Fall (Star Trek : New Frontier)
After the Fall (Star Trek : New Frontier)
Author: Peter David
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 5/14/2007


Author Peter David's unforgettable novels of Captain Mackenzie Calhoun and the crew of the Starship EXCALIBUR remain one of Star Trek's most popular book series among fans. Now, David takes the New Frontier universe in a bold new direction that will at once shock, thrill, and delight longtime and brand-new readers of this acclaimed series.

Three years have passed since the events depicted in the novel STONE AND ANVIL, and for the past and present crew members of the U.S.S. EXCALIBUR, life has taken many surprising twists and turns. Captain Elizabeth Shelby has been promoted to admiral and heads Space Station Bravo... while her former ship, the U.S.S. TRIDENT, has a new captain. Soleta has left Starfleet to embrace the perils of exploring her Romulan heritage. The powerful Zak Kebron serves as the EXCALIBUR's counselor and head of security.

And Mackenzie Calhoun? Well, Mackenzie Calhoun's still who he is.

As Si Cwan, prime minister of the New Thallonian Protectorate, prepares to marry off his sister Kalinda in a politically advantageous pairing that will strengthen his newly restored empire, the bride-to-be is abducted just before the wedding in a calamitous event that threatens to destabilize the entire sector -- especially since Kalinda's abductor is someone all too familiar.

As the EXCALIBUR, the TRIDENT, and the entire Thallonian fleet attempt to bring order to their sector of space, none could ever suspect that a mysterious alien force may also be playing a part in Kalinda's disappearance -- and that the entire galaxy may soon face a long-forgotten enemy.


After the Green Withered
After the Green Withered
Author: Kristin Ward
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/14/2019


The sixth mass extinction in Earth's history, precipitated by unchecked drilling and a variety of environmental disasters, has occurred and the planet is in the midst of a decades-long drought. The nation has closed its borders and the military was brought in to control widespread violence as water dwindled and rationing got serious. As the story opens, the U.S. has been consolidated into 18 states based on river basins, the remaining population clustered into cities in each state, couples are limited to one child, and water is controlled by one all-powerful agency: the Drought Mitigation Corporation (or DMC.)

Enora Byrnes, now in her last year of school, has grown up in Prineville and this has always been the way things were. As she approaches graduation, she is expected to make a decision on her future â how she is going to contribute to society henceforth, as an adult. Undecided and with few choices open to her, all she knows is that she does not want to go into the DMC. Her best friend, Bram, a few years older and of the same mind had been selected by the DMC never to be seen or heard from again. The DMC was for the elite in town: their children groomed for service since birth. Enora was not one of the elite. But as graduation nears, Enora is singled out for the DMC anyway and begins her training in addition to her school work eventually ending up at a training base several hours away.

With her recruitment, Enora begins to see improvements in the lives of her parents: better housing, increased water credits, better and more food. Enora feels obligated and stuck especially when things that the DMC does don't jive with what she and the rest of the population has always been told.

When she and her partner are sent to the town of Renascence to neutralize a dangerous rebellion their doubts about the DMC and their role in the agency mount when the rebels turn out to be mere children and the DMC is hiding some horrible secrets below ground and behind locked doors in secret facilities there.

I really enjoyed this tale of a dystopian U.S. The author did a fabulous job of creating the world that Enora lives in. Enora seems like such a typical teenager on the brink of high school graduation with the usual angst associated with fitting in, living up to her parents' expectations, friends, and young love. Then there are some terribly tough decisions about her future and the horrible revelations that gradually unfold. And the story's not over â there's a Book 2! This story kept my attention and kept me reading late into the night because I couldn't find a good spot to stop. It is action-filled and thought-provoking. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy young adult books and those that like dystopian/post-apocalyptic tales as well.


Afterburn (Bio Rescue, Bk 2)
Afterburn (Bio Rescue, Bk 2)
Author: S. L. Viehl
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 4/10/2006


This author has just grown on me. I started reading about her "world" with StarDoc and the StarDoc series. This book is the second in a related story which began in BIO RESCUE. This is a good follow-up to the characters there and introduces some new and interesting ones. I think the story is better if you've read the other series already because they do allude to characters and events that happened in the past. Some quite important to action in this one. But this author just keeps getting better and better.


Alien Landscapes
Alien Landscapes
Author: Robert Holdstock, Malcolm Edwards
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/23/2008


Gorgeous collection of artwork of alien worlds that breathes new life into some of the best science fiction stories. I was intrigued enough by some of the views to look up the novels that they were illustrating. Really made them come to life.


All Time
All Time
Author: Mack Leonard
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/10/2019


In the year 2397, Miranda Hawking is living with her parents at the Hawking Refuge for Troubled Intelligences, a âretirementâ sanctuary for used-up channelers. These synthetic beings, in their prime, had interfaced with the most powerful artificial intelligences that guided the universe and then interpreted their thoughts in a way humans could understand.

Many of the channelers eventually succumbed to the pressures of their responsibilities and, if they were lucky, ended up at the Refuge cared for by Miranda and her loving parents but forbidden from ever contacting their master intelligence again. One such resident is the mysterious (in Miranda's teenage-crush eyes), Brightside, who had been channeler to the great master intelligence, OMNIUM.

When the Information Police come knocking, Miranda discovers not everything at the sanctuary is as tranquil and mundane as she'd thought. Not only has Brightside been in communication with his old master but her mother is involved in something with him as well.

Helping Brightside to escape, Miranda attempts to find out what is going on. She joins Brightside onboard a subspace ferry and next finds herself face to face with Altrius Prime, the highest political authority in the solar system (and the oldest one), who she prevents from committing suicide by making an unauthorized time jump.

As she disrupts his plans, Miranda herself makes the jump and ends up on a wooded mountainside in the year 1058. No sooner has she gathered her senses from the jump when she is attacked by a warrior from the invading horde known as the Holders of the Chain.

Her rescuer is an apprenticed painter, Friskin York, who along with his master had been on the mountain to capture the magnificent vista. Miranda slowly falls for Friskin as the three travel to find a place of safety from the invasion and search for her parents who tried to follow her during her accidental time jump.

All Time is an engrossing story with great characters and vivid world-building not only of a far future but of the past. There are numerous twists and turns along the way as Miranda tries to understand her new reality and she doesn't always find herself welcome. There are unresolved issues in this first book that I hope to pursue in subsequent books in the series.

I highly recommend this book for readers that like time travel stories and grand adventures.



The Amazing Spider Man (Look and Find)
The Amazing Spider Man (Look and Find)
Author: J. Janes
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/7/2009


Drawn in in "comic book look," this is a typical "Look and Find" book for the kids especially for those that like Spiderman. Hardcover version and over-large size makes it easy for little hands to hang onto and pore over.


Amber and the Sheikh
Amber and the Sheikh
Author: Stephanie Howard
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/14/2007


Amber didn't believe that desert sheikhs still made a habit of kidnapping beautiful women and riding off into the sunset! And then she met Sheikh Zoltan al-Khalifa. But did this prince of the desert want Amber as a wife... or just as part of his harem?


Amelia Bedelia
Amelia Bedelia
Author: Peggy Parish, Fritz Siebel (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 8/27/2006


Mr. and Mrs. Rogers have hired a new maid. And not just any maid! It's literal, lovable Amelia Bedelia, and her ways of cleaning house are hilarious. When Mrs. Rogers says to draw the drapes, Amelia Bedelia sits right down with a pencil and paper and draws them. From dressing the chicken to dusting the furniture, she's trying to do EXACTLY what Mrs. Rogers tells her. But somehow things just aren't turning out right....


Amym: The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire)
Amym: The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire)
Author: KD McQuain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/3/2019


This is the story of how Amym, the elite servant to the Chord and the Lesser Blessed of the New York Vampires series, came to be.

Amym was a mamluk, one of the soldier-slaves to the Mamluk Bey, in his adopted city of Cairo. He was young, strong, rising quickly up through the ranks, and in love with the slave girl, Ketevan. Just as was preparing to approach Ketevan's master for her, the Mamluk Beys and all their troops are ambushed and massacred at a ceremony at the Pasha's palace. Due to the actions of his own master, Amym narrowly escapes and flees to the Bey's home to rescue the Bey's wife and family as well as Ketevan and her master and his household. As he is leading them to safety across the desert, Amym is confronted outside their nightly encampment by some of the Pasha's soldiers. As he fights them off, this wreck of a human figure joins the fray and destroys the soldiers finishing up by tearing out their throats and drinking their blood. He takes Amym to a tomb below ground where he remains a prisoner for several years with the creature feeding off his blood as he desires.

So, fans of the series get a great backstory for Amym, one of the principal characters reappearing throughout the New York Vampires series. This story is filled with interesting historical world-building and the action is constant. A note: there are detailed sexual encounters, so this is definitely for adult readers.


An Isolated Incident
An Isolated Incident
Author: Susan R. Sloan
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 11/29/2012


Abridged and read by Ed Asner.

Great story, a good abridgement, and Ed Asner does a fabulous job as the narrator (like that is any surprise!) The murder of a well liked local teen from a prominent family shakes up close knit Seward Island. The police chief and new detective recently returned to her home town begin a romantic relationship as the circumstantial evidence piles up against a well liked history teacher. Lots of interesting, suspicious characters and lots of suspense. At only 3 hours long, this set of tapes really made my drive go by quickly.


Angus and the Cat
Angus and the Cat
Author: Marjorie Flack
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/19/2006


Angus the Scottie dog spends three days chasing the new cat that has come to live at his house, but when the cat disappears, Angus misses his new friend.


The Annihilation of Foreverland
The Annihilation of Foreverland
Author: Tony Bertauski
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 8/10/2014


Young Adult with a good dose of horror!

Author Tony Bertauski has created a paradise of an island in the south Atlantic Ocean where adolescent and teenage boys roam, fish, play state-of-the-art video games, anything they want to their hearts content, except leave. Each is watched over, coached and guided by an elderly man of dubious health known as an investor. Every couple of weeks the boys are herded into The Haystack, a building that is the gateway to Foreverland where every impossible dream can come true but not without its price.

The Annihilation of Foreverland is told through the eyes of multiple characters but mainly by Danny Boy, whom we first encounter as he wakes up on the island devoid of any memory of his past. In fact, none of the boys remember who they are or where they came from. Another viewpoint is that of Reed, an older boy who has steadfastly refused to succumb to the promise of Foreverland. Finally, we get insight from the mysterious island owner known only as The Director. The old men or investors vary from supposedly kindly and caring to downright creepy and cruel. There is a psychotic bully among the boys which adds more tension. The characters and their pasts are gradually revealed over the course of the novel. The suspense and horror grows until we have a satisfyingly full picture of each.

The storyline is a unique one in which technology, privilege, money, and power all combine for an exciting, thought-provoking, ethics-challenging tale. The author added exquisitely creepy little details that absolutely made my skin crawl. These small details added a whole other level of eww to the story. Thankfully, the villains get their just desserts and we can leave the island with the knowledge that things are going to work out right. With a marvelous setting, interesting characters, and nice plot revelations, I recommend this to the young adult readers that like theirs with a good dose of horror.


Annihilation  (Southern Reach Trilogy, Book 1)
Review Date: 4/28/2019


After numerous failed expeditions, the 12th group is heading into the mysterious Area X. Four women, known only by their work specialty, a psychologist, anthropologist, biologist, and a surveyor, head into this no-man's-land that stretched along the coastline and interior for who-knows-how-far to study, explore, map, and report back what they can to the governing body, the Southern Reach. Things start going sideways almost immediately when expedition members start to disappear.

The story is presented from the viewpoint of The Biologist who proves to be a less than reliable narrator. This first installment in the Southern Reach trilogy is strange, confusing, scary, and fascinating! I couldn't put it down 'needing' to know what was going to happen next. You know what is happening when it happens but you never know why or how anything fits into a bigger picture of what Area X is. Doesn't matter. Let me have Book 2.


The Apocalypse Gene
The Apocalypse Gene
Author: Suki Michelle, Carlyle Clark
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 2/6/2012


Only pages into the YA fantasy The Apocalypse Gene by Suke Michelle and Carlyle Clark and I was already looking to see what the authors had published previously.

I easily slipped into this future American landscape devastated after a pandemic illness has swept the country. The characters were well defined and I felt I knew who I was dealing with and gave me a reason to care what happened next. I really enjoyed the holo-sims more than computer avatars come to life but I dont want to spoil that aspect so Ill leave it at that.

Villains were creepy and disgusting, the surrounding scary, and story romantic, sad, and exciting all rolled into one.


Aqua
Aqua
Author: M. A. George
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/16/2015


I really enjoyed everything about this book! The main character, Layla, is engaging and interesting. Her love interest, Tristan, is good-looking, mysterious, and romantic. Both are a little goofy around each other: very cute and appealing. Tristan's friends, Pyke & Zría, are an odd brother & sister act that really draws your attention and makes you wonder what they're going to do next. The entire premise of an underwater culture that used to be human but developed differently alongside, and unbeknownst to, their land-dwelling cousins is great, and the story and action barrels along from start to finish.

Budding young adult romance, mystery, sinister friends, breathing underwater, a long-lost father, and the setting on the Texas coast were all elements that kept me reading later into the night than my work schedule needed. I can highly recommend this great start to a new M.A. George series!


Ascending (The Vardeshi Saga)
Ascending (The Vardeshi Saga)
Author: Meg Pechenick
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/23/2020


Ascending by Meg Pechenick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Vardeshi, an advanced, human-like alien race, came to Earth 25 years ago, made a brief, peaceful visit and left, saying they'd return one day. Avery Alcott had grown up dreaming of that day and watching innumerable fictionalized television series and movies dramatizing that return.

Now a young woman, she is studying linguistics in graduate school when she is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime. Her major professor has been secretly developing a language training system for learning the Vardeshi language based on recordings made during their visit, and he wants Avery to test its capabilities. Avery is thrilled, adjusts her graduate course load, and jumps in. Finding the language far more challenging to learn than the Mandarin she'd previously mastered, Avery digs in and finally achieves proficiency based on the program. She has no way of knowing if what the professor has created and what she's learned correctly corresponds to the aliens' actual language.

Then the Vardeshi make contact again. They propose a cultural exchange: 100 of their people to come to Earth and 100 of humanity's best and brightest to join the Vardeshi in space aboard the many spacecraft or space stations they have in service throughout the galaxy. One human is to go to the Vardeshi home planet itself.

With Avery's language skill already in place, the Vardeshi select her as the one representative from Earth to travel to Vardesh Prime. She and the other 100 program candidates undergo a quick but intensive training course to prepare them for their upcoming assignments, and she soon finds herself in space aboard the Vardeshi spacecraft, Pinion. However, instead of going as a mere passenger, the captain of the ship offers Avery the unique opportunity to immerse herself in their language, culture, and daily shipboard life as a member of the crew. Avery agrees and is integrated into the small crew of 10 as one of two ânovi,' the lowest, introductory rank in the Vardeshi ship's hierarchy.

The cultural immersion has its drawbacks: the constant thinking of how to act, finding the correct words, always having to be âon' and âin the moment,' but Avery mentally gathers her inner resources and pushes through. Zey, the other novi, serves as her trainer and soon becomes a friend and confidant. Saresh, the ship's hadazi, the counselor and advisor to all onboard, is steadfast in his support. But not everyone likes having her there or this whole plan of exchange. Some crew members are blatantly mean and vocal about her and humanity's inferiority, doing anything in their power to make things tough for her. Others are just dismissive and seem irritated by her presence. And on both Earth and Vardesh Prime, the populations are divided on whether the interplanetary interaction is a wise thing at all. But as Avery continues to gain proficiency in her language skills and duties as a member of the crew, someone else seems determined to make sure she fails and never makes it to Vardesh Prime, by any means possible.

Ascending was an engaging and immersive reading experience from the very first page. Avery is a kind, warm, and likable young woman who is presented with the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, and she goes for it full-tilt. I thought the author did an outstanding job of describing all the mental issues that arise when someone is immersed in a culture and language so different from their own. In addition, there is a heart-wrenching subplot of being an outsider among your own kind.

The author gives us an Earth that has developed somewhat differently than our current reality, as well as the fascinating alien culture of the Vardeshi. The reader gets a tantalizing glimpse of the other crew members' home planets (there's more than one!) as they reminisce about going home during after-dinner musings one night. Hopefully, in future books in the series, readers will be treated to a visit to some of these exotic locations.

The relationships and characters aboard the Pinion are what make this story an exciting page-turner, though. I felt like I knew these individuals by the time the story was going full-on; however, the author never lets you or Avery forget that they are not human. And there is an awareness throughout the story that there could be collateral effects from these two foreign species interacting. They don't even know if each other's food could cause adverse and disastrous reactions.

ASCENDING is a top-notch space adventure and is an awesome debut for this new series. I loved it. I recommend this story to readers that like character-driven, soft Sci-Fi tales, with a âstranger in a strange land' vibe. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Bright Shards, as soon as I can.

I voluntarily reviewed this after receiving an Advanced Review Copy from Book Sirens.



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